Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Snow Days and Wedding Days

It's snowing. I love being in Colorado when the first snows of winter fall. Somehow that is one of the feelings I've retained since childhood. I think it's a little bit sad how some adults don't like snow. It's like they've lost something. I do understand how bad it can be if you are struggling through traffic or trying to get a child to daycare. It can be a bother for sure. But, surely there is still that little flicker of awe when you first see the flakes:) If you don't care for snow, dogs, or small children I secretly wonder if you are truly a happy person:)
The second part of this blog title is "Wedding Days" so I will move on. Peter and Erin have just married. As I write they are on a plane returning from their honeymoon. It was a beautiful wedding. Erin looked amazing. Peter was the handsome groom anticipating his bride. Good friends and family came to be with us and witness Peter and Erin's love for each other. Our daughter and son-in-law came with our beautiful grandson. He had a million smiles to give out at the wedding. It was a great day. There is one line that I keep thinking about that the marriage officiant said, "let these young hands that reach out to the other today be the same hands that reach out to the other when they are old and wrinkled." At the time I thought, "yes, please God let that be so." The marriage in the younger years is so different than the marriage of the later years. But time and time again the same hands reach out. D and I have been together so long now that I have to put a little effort into remembering when we were not together. Because of the situation of our lives we spend a great deal of time apart but it never changes the same hands reaching out when we are together. We look back now on the younger years, the many moves, the raising of our children, and we cherish what we have today (especially the amazing blessing of our little grandson who lights up our lives). Thank you so much K and D for the greatest gift to any parents, and for being so generous in sharing him.
We have one more adult child to find those hands that will always reach out to comfort and hold him. We will be there to witness that happiness when it happens. Life seems full of treasures still to be discovered.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

I Just Want to Go Home

It's true. I just want to go home. Home means the log sided house in Colorado. It has the most beautiful view in all the world. It has the material items that are familiar to me . . . my beautiful copper, my blue and white dishes, family photo albums, rugs I've collected from our travels, my FABRICS that hold a million possibilities for quilts. It is where I tend (with so much purpose and pleasure) the Aspen trees we've planted near the house. I can pick up the phone and talk to my family. I can take a couple of airplane flights and see my family. I live in the same DAY as my family. My heart settles when I sit on the porch with our dogs. (And my heart has never settled all that well anywhere.) It's an isolated spot so it's important to get out and walk with my neighbor, and good to get out for small trips pretty frequently. There are days when it doesn't seem all that great, but isn't that true of any place? Still it's our home. I don't really like going in to town, except to get the mail. Reclusive? I love the walks we can take right from our house. I love the snow coming down and the fire place burning. And my fabrics. Oh, I already mentioned those.

I think I'm homesick and I haven't even left the country yet.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Long lapse in time . . .

It's the end of the summer now. I haven't posted since January 2011 when we were still in the middle of the move to Indonesia! Sheesh. I think I will skip any update and just post pictures:) Let's just say, we moved. It was hard. We traveled back to the States for many different reasons. I'm still here. There is a wedding very soon and then I will go back. Done. Meanwhile I do a lot of sewing wherever I am.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tally and Moose

We've been in the middle of this move now for what seems like forever. It started last fall when the phone call came in that David was requested to work in Jakarta. Quickly followed a trip to Indonesia to gather information. We had many discussions about how this would effect our lives (specifically the distance from our family), and the big one that we didn't want to mention: what to do with Moose and Tally. Now if you are NOT a dog lover . . . just stop reading now. In our family we love our dogs a lot. They are treated well, cared for with great concern, and only left when absolutely necessary. Since I don't work outside the home I have plenty of time to make their lives full of walks, ball toss sessions, and loving pats. They are my constant companions. If they look a little bit bored I take them in the car with me on errands. Moose faces forwards; Tally faces backwards. I know all their habits. In Calgary where they had to wear boots to protect their feet from the sub zero temperatures Moose was happy to get his boots on; Tally acted like I was punishing her. When we got though outside she was skipping and hopping like a kid with new tennis shoes. They made her run faster and jump higher! It really was hilarious. But sadly those days are no more. It isn't right to put dogs who are 10 and 12 years old through all it would involve to move them to a hot country with no parks, or even side walks. They would be scared and in shock making the 30+ hour trip to get there. They would be hot, bored, without good veterinary care, and would live out their lives in a very limited environment. So the decision had to be made concerning what to do with them. Finally, Moose went to live with Paul and Tucker; Tally to Atlanta with K, D, and G. They seem to be doing Okay. Wish I could say the same for myself.

All my life I have loved my dogs. When I was in first grade my brother and I got off the school bus one day and found a bag of puppies tied up in a feed sack! We, or course, took them across the road to our farm house. It was like winning the lottery for a first graders. I had a sack full of puppies, a treasure that someone else tired to throw away in a cruel fashion. I got to keep one which I named Sally. That's right, after the "Dick, Jane, and Sally" readers of the early 1960's. I loved that dog with all my heart. She let me do anything to her including putting bonnets on her. When she was happy and excited she would twist her mouth into what could only be perceived as a doggie smile. What a dog.

Now I am without my Tally girl. It has been a couple of months since she went to Atlanta. I still sense her around the corner when I move through the house. I find myself waking up on the couch at midnight with the TV on because she isn't there to nudge me. At 9:45 on the dot she would always tell me to wake up. That wet nose indicating it was time to go upstairs to bed. I miss the relaxation I always felt of listening to her full out snoring on the floor. I miss seeing how much real estate that dog could manage to take up in the middle of a room when she crashed for a nap. I miss it all. I feel like I have betrayed her trust; betrayed her good hearted, full out, no-holes-barred Labrador love.

Please God, let her live a long healthy life so that I can bring her back home again when this is over; let Moose enjoy the two and half acres in Washington where he can sniff the breeze. Let them not think too much that we left them; and help me to stop crying everyday over my four legged best friends. Seriously.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

This one is for Monday's Child

Thirty years ago tomorrow I had a morning doctor's appointment. I was nearing the birth of our second child. It was coming down to the once a week appointment when you feel like you ought to have gone into labor yesterday. We didn't know the sex of the baby since it was before such things became the norm. We already had an adorable little blond-headed boy who was 20- months-old. He could say, "the baby is coming out of mommy's tummy" in his little precocious toddler voice. We already had all the necessary baby items from his recent birth. I hadn't purchased anything new, but I had handled everything pink that JC Penny's carried in the baby department. It's a wonder they didn't ask me to leave the pink sleepers alone since I was going almost daily to pick them up and put them down again. We didn't have the budget to buy just anything we had a whim to buy. We did have the budget to buy groceries, gas, pay our bills, and go out to eat once each paycheck, but no money for pink sleepers that might have to be returned. We'd never been happier. Budget, smuget. Our toddler gave us joy on a daily basis; Our lives of building this little family stretched ahead of us as a world of possibilities. But I couldn't get "pink" off my mind. I was afraid to hope, afraid to think of myself bundling up big brother and little sister to go out in the Colorado snow to play. Now DON'T get me wrong. I would have loved another little boy with all my heart (and I do love my second boy with all my heart), but I had "pink" fever. Bad. I grew up with all boys, three brothers. I WANTED A GIRL. I WANTED TINY PINK SLEEPERS! I could only think in a whisper about the dresses I would sew . . . little white collars . . . little smocked jumper . . . all worn with little Mary Jane shoes.

I went to that appointment while a friend watched big brother in waiting. I thought I would be back in an hour or so. However when the doctor did his examination he said I wasn't going anywhere except to the hospital. Those contractions I had been having weren't Braxton Hicks after all. I had driven myself to the appointment but no one was letting me drive away. David had taken the bus to work that day as usual. I had to call him to come to the doctor's office and escort me to the hospital pronto. He managed to find a ride with a friend (who was single at the time and wasn't accustomed to such emergencies:). Long story short, we finally got to the hospital and got on with the business of birth. After about 12 hours of labor it was time for the great push. (With all three of my babies I was a good pusher. I guess I can be proud of that since I was a terrible laborer). So, push I did. Out she came. Out SHE came. SHE. As in, SHE will be wearing PINK. My obstetrician was a real kidder so when he said, "it's a girl," I didn't believe him. I asked about ten times if he was sure "it" was a girl. Finally David said "Sherri, it's a girl" and I believed him. My dreams of bundling up big brother and little sister had come true. We had a beautiful little girl to be little sister to our beautiful little boy. I was so excited that I didn't sleep that night. I looked at her a million times. Ok, I must confess. I didn't look at my first born a million times because after 30+ hours of labor having him I was dead to the world. With baby #3 (Thursday's child) I knew from experience to get all the sleep I could get while in the hospital. Apologies to my boys.

Anyway, here we are 30 years later. Monday's child now has a child of her own. She did wear a zillion dresses that I made for her. She always thought they were wonderful, beautiful, and never wanted dresses from the store rather than the ones I made for her. She had at least 15 pairs of Mary Jane shoes over the years, though her favorite shoes were always her red Keds with the bumper toes. By the age of three she could strike a pose worthy of a magazine while I draped a bolt of fabric around her to see if it "was her color." She was also able to hold her own with any of the boys. She could jump off the diving board at age three. She broke her arm rounding third base. She was a heck of a soccer player. She hung in there to get an engineering degree, and then a master's to boot.

So, here is to Monday's child . . . May you enter your thirties with grace and wisdom, and wearing pink (or at least some girlie color that looks good on you:).

Love you.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Things I've learned on this trip


This will be short and and sweet. Well, at least short:)

These are the things I have learned on this trip so far (no certain order of importance):

(1) It is possible to wear one mismatched pair of Smart Wool socks for 9 straight days w/o washing. They will still hold their shape.

(2) No matter how tired I am when I leave my grandchild, I immediately wish I could be back with him. Absolutely. Without a doubt.

(3) Sometimes in life it is simply your (my) turn to sleep on the floor for the night. It doesn't matter how many phone calls your son and his fiancee make to find you a room.

(4) I can actually forget to buy deodorant for days.

(5) Peter and Erin are even MORE considerate than I already knew they were. How many people have met YOU at the airport with a Starbucks coffee in hand for you?

(6) Almost everywhere I go there is a serious snow storm.

(7) The Snow Shoe Lodge isn't such a bad place really.

(8) Margaritas make everything seem manageable, even home renovations (until they wear off). The margaritas, that is.

(9) Having a grandchild has broken my heart wide open again.

(10) Motherhood makes a woman (K) actually more physically beautiful.

(11) FB friends are very important when traveling.

(12) M.J.'s lasagna can taste really, really good especially when M.J.'s is the only place open to get food.

(13) My FB postings are not all that interesting to anyone. Who cares!?! Everyone have another margarita!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Parents and Grandparents (probably sappy)

Parenting is on my mind this morning. There are several reasons I suppose. Not the least of which is that our daughter and her husband are weeks away from becoming parents themselves. I have been "mom" or "mum" or some form thereof for over 30 years. Now I will get to add "Gramma" to my life resumé. Of course this little guy may never call me that, even though it is how I already think of myself in relationship to him, and have signed his homemade quilts. He will decide his heart names for us. We will all be delighted with his choices:). In my imagination I have already held him, smelled that sweet new baby smell, seen those little arms and legs, and experienced the happiness of seeing our daughter and son-in-law in moments of new parent adoration. Seeing my daughter become a mother . . . what a miracle. I know when I get my turn to really, truly, hold him that I will remember thoroughly the happiness I felt when my own children were born. The slate of parenting was clean, brand new. My heart was giant size with love. I am sure grandparent love is amazing too. My cousin and all my already grandparent friends have told me it is. They all get this expression of bliss on their faces when they say it. I get the feeling it will be a brand new world. I can't wait.

The other reason parenting is on my mind this morning is that I realize that I sometimes still don't do it as well as I would like. I love my children so much. They are the treasure. They always have been and always will be. Yet we have to go through the messiness of navigating all things about life. Parents have to find that fine line so many darn times. It doesn't stop when the children grow up. We are bound to miss sometimes. But I hate missing. Ever since that first time I held them I didn't ever want to miss. D tells me that I tend to be a "score keeper" and I know that it true. Anyone able to relate? It's hard for others, but I keep meticulous score of my own perceived mistakes. It is like I say to myself, "Mistake. Fifty laps. Now!" It's one of those things I have been trying to "let go of" for most of my life. (By the way, "letting go" is a term I often find frustrating.) I know, M.A. in psychology and I still said that! If we could all just "let go" of the things that clutter our personalities and relationships don't you think we would do just that? I just hope my (adult now) children always know that I am pulling for them. Seriously, pulling for them. Even when I miss the line and have to come back and apologize. I won't stop encouraging them, loving them, respecting and accepting them for who they are. Yes, I mess up along the way . . . but please know that I would rather not. More than anything, I would rather not.

We, as a family, are coming along with the new parents. It is their turn, but their happiness will be ours; Their concerns will be ours. We will all laugh when we see him laugh. Emails and tweets will fly when he crawls, or when he takes those first steps. I know that this baby will have two uncles who won't be able to get enough of him over the coming years. He will have a Grandpa who will want to give him the moon. Good thing the parents-to-be are the sharing kind:) Welcome, little boy. We love you. We are here waiting for you. And to K and D, all the best in this new phase of life. You are in for quite an adventure. I hope you will be gentle with yourselves. Good luck on that one:)